It looks as if Barack Obama will get his pivot time after all. Late last month, the White House let it be known that they wanted to put ObamaCare on the back burner until at least February in order to make a “hard pivot” to jobs and the economy. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid ignored Obama and continued to press for a back-room deal that they could ping-pong between the House and Senate, and deliver before Obama’s State of the Union address. Charlie Rangel says that’s not going to happen:
Health care negotiators are facing “a serious problem” in resolving their differences and are not likely to have a final bill until February, according to key House Democrats involved in ongoing talks.
“We’ve got a problem on both sides of the Capitol. A serious problem,” Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday evening.
The difficulty in hashing out an agreement between the two chambers is largely due to there being so many different factions with a stake in the matter, Rangel said. “Normally you’re just dealing with the Senate and they talk about 60 votes and you listen to them and cave in, but this is entirely different,” he said. “I’m telling you that never has 218 been so important to me in the House.”
Another senior House Democrat familiar with negotiations on the bill said no progress has been made this week on any of the key sticking points in the House and Senate bills, despite steady meetings with union leaders and the White House.
“There’s no agreement. No deal on anything. Nothing,” the lawmaker said.
That presents a problem for Democrats in Massachusetts. They have already begun laying a public-relations foundation for delaying Scott Brown’s entry into the Senate if he manages to beat Martha Coakley. They can’t delay it forever, though, and the longer the Democrats go without an agreement in principle, the more likely Brown will be able to cast the 41st vote against cloture and stop the whole thing in its tracks.
Even more seriously, this shows just how radical and disorganized ObamaCare is. If Democrats can’t even get all of their own people to agree on it, it proves that the approach is too far to the Left — and that it won’t pass muster with the American people. That is reinforced by the method used by Reid and Pelosi, a series of closed-door sessions intended to keep out the press and the American public … but apparently with plenty of room for union lobbyists.
How’s that for open and honest government?